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NCAA Bubble Watch (2/22): A&M's victory over Kentucky provides a huge boost

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After a massive win over Kentucky, the job is mostly done. We take a look at the NCAA tournament picture with a focus on what the Aggies need moving forward.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Updated: Monday, February 22

Next Update: Thursday, February 25

Moving Up: Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Pitt

Moving Down: Syracuse, Monmouth, LSU

Locked Up: Oregon, Utah, Arizona

Eliminated: Georgetown, Chattanooga

Teams by Conference

American

The AAC is the conference with the most bubble drama this year. While SMU is ineligible as the only top 25 team, the 2nd tier of the conference has 4 teams that are all hovering within 10 spots of the bubble burst line.
Locks: None
Bubble: Tulsa, UConn, Cincinnati Temple

Atlantic 10

Dayton looks like the class of the league so far, but St. Joseph's and now St. Bonaventure are not far behind. GW and VCU look like last 4 in/first 4 out cases
Locks: None
Bubble: Dayton, George Washington, St. Joseph's, VCU, St. Bonaventure

ACC

The ACC has separated into tiers with the top achieving lock status and the bottom falling off the face of the map. The bubble has the potential to shrink considerably over the next week with several teams being eliminated here and a few more achieving lock status.
Locks: UNC, Virginia, Miami
Bubble: Duke, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Florida St. Georgia Tech, Clemson

Big 12

Another great year for the Big 12, which is clearly the class of the country from top to bottom. The Big 12 could have multiple #1 seeds and up to 7 or even 8 tournament teams being a realistic possibility. Locks: Kansas, Oklahoma
Bubble: Iowa St., West Virginia, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas St.

Big East

This could definitely be referred to as a down year for the Big East and getting as few as 3 teams in shouldn't shock anyone. It will likely be 4 however.
Locks: Villanova, Xavier
Bubble: Providence, Butler, Seton Hall, Creighton

Big 10

Still plenty to figure out in terms of how many bids for the Big 10 in what most would describe as a down year for the league with a horrible bottom tier.
Locks: Iowa, Maryland, Michigan St.
Bubble: Purdue, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio St., Wisconsin

Pac 12

It was a good week for the top tier of the Pac 12 with 3 teams reaching lock status. That did come at the expense of the middle and lower tier suffering defeats and missed opportunities for statement wins.
Locks: Oregon, Utah, Arizona
Bubble: USC, Colorado, Cal, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Arizona St.

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SEC

A&M and Kentucky are very close to lock status. Several teams are starting to enter or are already in must win mode.
Locks: None
Bubble: Texas A&M, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Alabama, LSU

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Non Power Conferences
There don't look to be too many bid thieves out there this year and the last 2 weeks almost assured that with just about every mid and low major "good" team dropping devastating games. Monmouth, Wichita St., St. Mary's, Akron & Arkansas Little Rock are worth a peripheral look but none of them are guaranteed to be a bid thief if they lose in their conference tournaments.

Who's in? (Conference listed indicates projected auto bid)

Projected one bid leagues/automatic bids listed first. Then locks from multi-bid conferences. Teams are ranked from 1-N. This is not a ranking of how good teams are or how much of a threat they are for a deep tourney run, it is a measure of if the season ended today based on past selection committee behavior, who is in and who is out and how relatively safe teams are.

1. ACC (Virginia)
2. America East
3. Atlantic Sun
4. Big 12 (Oklahoma)
5. Big 10 (Maryland)
6. Big East (Villanova)
7. Big Sky
8. Big South
9. Big West
10. CAA
11. Conference USA
12. Horizon
13. Ivy
14. MAC
15. MEAC
16. MWC
17. NEC
18. OVC
19. Pac 12 (Oregon)
20. Patriot
21. Southland
22. Southern
23. SWAC
24. Summit
25. Sun Belt
26. WCC
27. WAC

28. Iowa
29. Kansas
30. Xavier
31. North Carolina
32. Miami
33. Michigan St.
34. Utah
35. Arizona

At large teams if listed with an italic conference this is the conferences auto bid projection.

56 teams fighting for 32 spots

36. (SEC)Kentucky (RPI 10: 20-7, 10-4) An overtime loss to a top 25 team on the road doesn't hurt much it just delays making the lock official for another game. They are still hot having won their previous 4 over Florida, Georgia and blowing out South Carolina on the road and then coming home and avenging a bad loss to Tennessee by beating them handily. That along with OOC wins over Louisville and Duke and 1st place in the SEC has UK sitting pretty. (Next Up: 2/23 Alabama)

37. Duke (RPI 11: 20-7, 8-5) Blew their chance at lock status when they couldn't hold on to a late lead at Louisville. That would have made it 6 in a row and removed all doubt. Still, they have 3 great wins in the last 3 weeks winning at UNC and beating Virginia and Louisville. Duke did ok in the OOC but nothing jumps off the page other than winning vs. some bubble teams at home vs. Indiana, and on a neutral court vs. VCU and Georgetown. Only 1 loss outside of the top 50 (@Clemson) so Duke just needs 1 more win to make their lock status official. (Next Up: 2/25 Florida St.)

38. Texas A&M (RPI 22: 20-7, 9-5) The 5 game conference losing skid is now officially in the rearview mirror with Texas A&M's best win of the season over Kentucky. That paired with the Florida and LSU in conference wins but more importantly OOC wins over Texas, Baylor, Iowa State, Gonzaga and Kansas State and 20 wins make this resume very very close to lock status. While it is possible to lose out and still make it depending how the rest of the bubble does with as weak of a schedule as it gets for a P5 team coming up I am going to wait one more game to call it. The easiest chance for that 1 more win needed is coming up in the next game at home against Mississippi St. a team they have already beaten on the road this year. (Next Up: 2/24 Mississippi State)

39. Iowa State (RPI 18: 19-8, 8-6) Treading water over the last couple of weeks, but they do have maybe the best trio of wins in the country over Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa. Just 3-4 over their last 7 but all 4 losses were to top 30 teams. 7 wins against the top 50, only 1 bad loss (Northern Iowa). 1 win away from lock status after taking care of business against TCU (Next Up: 2/22 @West Virginia)

40. Texas (RPI 29: 17-10, 8-6) Their 10th loss of the season was not a pretty one getting blown out on their home court vs. Baylor in a game that they were never really competitive in. They have lost 3 out of their last 4 and thank goodness for them their lone win during this stretch was over West Virginia to complete the season sweep of the Mountaineers. Still in pretty decent shape with 11 top 100 wins including OOC over UNC and a host of quality Big 12 wins. Really need to take advantage of Kansas St. up next, because Kansas and Oklahoma are on deck and a loss this week could mean that Texas is 17-13 heading into their season finale and starting to sweat just a bit. (Next Up: 2/22 @Kansas State)

41. Notre Dame (RPI 27: 18-8, 9-5) Had a really nice 3 game winning streak over UNC, @Clemson and against Louisville halted when they dropped a game at Georgia Tech this weekend. Still in OK shape with a good ACC record, that loss at Georgia Tech being by far their worst of the season and a win over Iowa on a neutral court in OOC play.(Next Up: 2/24 @Wake Forest)

42. West Virginia (RPI 15: 20-7, 9-5) West Virginia has now lost 3 out of 4 after falling on their home court to Oklahoma. Like the rest of the top tier of the Big 12 they are still in very good shape but they do not have quite the OOC resume or number of top 50 wins to fall back on. The winner of the upcoming game vs. Iowa State will be the next Big 12 team to achieve lock status. (Next Up: 2/22 Iowa State)

43. (Atlantic 10) Dayton (RPI 17: 21-5, 10-3) It has been a rough week for Dayton, the loss at St. Joseph's was excusable but then they lost at home to St. Bonaventure. Ultimately, although this week may have hurt badly their seeding it is hard to imagine Dayton collapsing enough to be in danger of any real bubble trouble. Nice OOC RPI wins over William & Mary, Monmouth, Iowa & Alabama. (Next Up: 2/23 @St. Louis)

44. Baylor (RPI 23: 19-7, 9-5) Great week for the Bears completing the season sweep of Iowa State and then demolishing Texas in Austin. Their worst loss of the season is against Texas Tech. It is a very difficult stretch run coming up but so long as they can beat TCU and then avoid a bad loss in the Big 12 tournament they should still be ok. (Next Up: 2/23 Kansas)

45. Purdue (RPI 21: 21-7, 9-6) Tough loss at Indiana this weekend and Purdue has not won back to back games since January. They did however beat Michigan State during this stretch which is their signature win of the season to go along with a handful of other quality ones over Florida, @Pitt, @Wisconsin, Vandy and Michigan. Given the down Big 10 this year Purdue may still be 2 wins away in their final 3 to feel really 100% safe.(Next Up: 2/27 Maryland)

46. Indiana (RPI 30: 22-6, 12-3) It feels a little crazy that a 22 win team in the Big 10 that is 12-3 in conference is still not a lock but that is exactly true for Indiana. That is due to 3 really bad losses to teams outside of the top 100. Still, so long as they can get just 1 more they will be a lock. Their best chance by far to get that win is on deck next @Illinois. (Next Up: 2/25 @Illinois)

47. California (RPI 20: 19-8, 9-5) Cal is on a 5 game winning streak during which they got a huge win over Oregon and over Oregon and then won at Washington and Washington State which may not sound like much but those were their first road win in conference play and only their 2nd and 3rd road wins of the season. Now 11-7 vs. the top 100 which would suggest that they are pretty solidly in at the moment. Good wins in Pac 12 play vs. fellow bubble teams Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Arizona St. & Stanford. 1 more win should do it but 2 would remove all doubt. (Next Up: 2/25 UCLA)

48. South Carolina (RPI 31: 21-5, 9-5) Great bounce back for the Gamecocks by beating Florida this weekend after a very damaging loss to Missouri in their last game. The win over Florida helps shore up the wins over top 50 metric, giving them a 4th top 50 win. They went undefeated OOC but their best wins were to Tulsa and Hofstra, which are nice but not anything special. Very interesting game coming up this weekend vs. Florida. Very favorable schedule down the stretch and they may be favored in every game so unless they collapse they should be pretty solidly in. (Next Up: 2/24 Tennessee)

49. Texas Tech (RPI 25: 17-9, 7-7) Texas Tech was dead and buried 2 weeks ago. Then 4 straight impressive wins later and they are back to .500 in the Big 12, now all of a sudden have 6 top 50 wins including one over Oklahoma and look to be safely in the tournament so long as they can take care of business in their remaining home games against TCU and Kansas State. (Next Up: 2/23 TCU)

50. St. Joseph's (RPI 28: 22-5, 11-3) A little bit of a roller coaster weeks for the Hawks, first getting the win over Dayton for their 11th win in 12 games and by far the best win of the seasonand then losing to Davidson to give Davidson their first top 100 win of the season. That loss to Davidson as it stands now is their only loss outside of the top 50 and they really don't have much in the way of quality wins on the resume other than the Dayton win and perhaps beating Princeton and winning @George Washington. Still, their very good record should carry them through so long as they don't stub their toe again against pretty weak competition down the stretch. (Next Up: 2/24 @UMass)

51. USC (RPI 24: 19-7, 8-5) USC got waxed on their home floor by Utah this weekend and is starting to really struggle losing 3 of their last 4. They do have a handful of decent wins over Colorado, Arizona, Monmouth, Arizona St., winning on a NC vs. Wichita St. and sweeping UCLA but still zero top 25 wins (unless Arizona can crack the top 25). They have successfully avoided bad losses which may be the most important thing you can do when playing in the Pac 12 with a weak OOC schedule. 2 road tests coming up and they would do well to win at least one of them or else they could find themselves in a little bit of danger. (Next Up: 2/25 @Stanford)

52. Pitt (RPI 35: 18-7, 8-6) Huge win at Syracuse on Saturday completing the season sweep of the Orange. The OOC slate was pretty uninteresting, lost to Purdue, won on a NC vs. Davidson. Their win over Notre Dame is currently their only top 50 win now that Syracuse has momentarily dropped out and Florida State is fading fast. No losses outside of the top 100 (Next Up: 2/24 Louisville)

53. St. Bonaventure (RPI 34: 18-7, 9-4) What a roller coaster week for the Bonnies. First they were IN after winning 5 in a row including over St. Joseph's and GW but then lost @La Salle who has an RPI in the 200s.and then more than made up for that one by winning @Dayton which is a really nice marquee win. They still have only 5 top 100 wins and 2 sub 100 losses to Duquesne and now La Salle but with a weak bubble and a lack of mid majors swallowing up bids they look like they may be able to sneak in if they can just avoid bad losses down the stretch. (Next Up: 2/24 Duquesne)

54. Syracuse (RPI 52, 18-10, 8-7) Syracuse had won 8 of 9 and was clicking along with a steadily improving RPI up in the 30s, then came back to back losses @Louisville and then to fellow bubble team Pitt and now all of a sudden the RPI has ballooned back to over 50. They have one loss to St. John's (RPI 200+) which is really hurting them. Great wins on a NC vs. Texas A&M & UConn, @Duke and home against Notre Dame but there are still only 7 top 100 wins and they are actually only 7-9 vs. the top 100. Still quite a bit of work to do with 3 games left. NC State at home feels close to a must win with the last 2 games of the season being on the road. (Next Up: 2/27 NC State)

55. Colorado (RPI 36: 18-9, 8-7) Lost both games in LA this weekend and that is now 4 consecutive road losses. Only 3-7 vs. the top 50 but the win over Oregon is hard to ignore. Missed 2 big chances OOC losing in their first game on a NC vs. Iowa St. and their final OOC game vs. SMU. They have 2 more shots at a top 50 win in their last 3 games and they may just need to win 1 of them (in addition to beating Arizona State) in order to feel real good about their chances. (Next Up: 2/24 Arizona)

56. Florida (RPI 32: 17-10, 8-6) Dropped a heartbreaker in OT at South Carolina. That one stings a little and it doesn't help that it was the 10th loss of the season. They are still fairly comfortably in but each of the next 3 (Vandy, @LSU, Kentucky) are going to be a significant challenge and I don't think they can afford to drop all 3 and still get an at large. Thank goodness for OOC play for the Gators which is where they got their only 2 top 50 wins of the season vs. St. Joseph's and West Virginia. Only 1 bad loss on the season at Tennessee. (Next Up: 2/23 Vanderbilt)

57. Providence (RPI 37: 19-8, 7-7) Getting swept by Marquette who will not make the tournament is not a good look. Providence has lost 4 of 5 and is fading fast. They do have a huge win @ Villanova but really only one other quality win (vs. Arizona) and 3 losses outside of the top 100. Huge game coming up at Seton Hall (Next Up: 2/25 @Seton Hall)

58. (American) UConn (RPI: 38, 19-8, 10-5) Got the biggest win of their season by beating SMU last week but then dropped a game against Cincinnati for the Bearcats to claim the season sweep and an important H2H indicator. That may be huge if UConn happens to lose to Cincy again in the NCAA tournament (particularly if Cincy doesn't get the automatic berth). In addition to beating SMU they do have 2 other pretty good wins at Texas, and on a NC vs. Michigan. No terrible losses. A couple of the "can't lose" type games coming up in order to hold onto their position on the inside of the bubble. (Next Up: 2/25 South Florida)

59. Seton Hall (RPI 41: 18-7, 8-5) Won 6 of their last 7 against the bottom of the Big East. Only 1 top 50 win over a quickly fading Providence. No losses outside of the top 100. Decent wins over fringe bubble candidates Wichita St., Georgia, Ole Miss, Georgetown (twice), Creighton. 3 very difficult games coming up next. They need to win at least one, then take the season finale vs. DePaul and perhaps make a little noise in the conference tourney. This weekend's game is huge to try to get the season sweep of Providence and go ahead of them in the pecking order.(Next Up: 2/25 Providence)

60. Wisconsin (RPI 44: 16-10, 8-5) Written off for dead in January the Badgers won 7 in a row before losing at Michigan St. this week. That winning streak speaks a little to how mediocre the Big 10 is but winning at Maryland by double digits is impossible to ignore. That win plus the wins over Michigan St., @Syracuse, vs. VCU and home against Temple, Indiana & Ohio St and it will be tough to keep them out even if they did lose 9 games before mid-January including losing to 250+ Western Illinois as well as Milwaukee, Marquette and Northwestern. Difficult stretch run coming up but if they can find a way to go 2-2 they should be able to just barely sneak in with a good conference tournament showing. (Next Up: 2/24 @Iowa)

61. Oregon St. (RPI 33: 14-10, 6-8) The record is not pretty at all but it is against the #4 SOS in the country. 5 wins vs. the top 30, all in conference. Only one good OOC win over Tulsa but no sub 100 losses. Just being an average team in the Pac 12 is probably good enough this year but they may need to go 3-1 down the stretch to finish at .500 in conference to feel good about their chances. The next 2 at home would be inexcusable losses.(Next Up: 2/24 Washington)

62. Virginia Commonwealth (RPI 49: 20-7, 12-2) VCU has won 3 home games in a row against sub 100 RPI teams. That doesn't really do much to make the resume better but it does stop the bleeding from 2 questionable losses including to UMass who is terrible. Still only 2 top 50 wins (St. Joe's & St. Bonaventure) and 2 more top 100 wins. They have 1 more can't lose games before ending the season with 3 straight tough games including at Dayton in the season finale. A 3-1 finish should put them in pretty good shape going into the tournament. (Next Up: 2/24 @George Mason)

63. (Missouri Valley)Wichita St. (RPI 51: 19-7, 13-2) WSU is really limping into March now with 2 sub 100 losses in the last 2 weeks to Northern Iowa and Illinois St. WSU only has 3 wins over the top 100 (Utah and Evansville twice) and don't play another top 100 team the rest of the season. They did challenge themselves in OOC but lost 4 in a row to average competition vs. Tulsa, USC, Bama & Iowa). Any more regular season losses and they will for sure need the auto bid. Even if they do win out an at large is not assured by any means. (Next Up: 2/24 @Loyola)

64. Alabama (RPI 42: 16-10, 7-7) Took one of the more eyebrow raising losses in the country this weekend losing on their home floor to Mississippi State after reeling off 5 wins in a row including over Texas A&M, @LSU and @Florida. Alabama did decent in OOC with wins vs. Wichita St., Notre Dame and at Clemson, and also has a win over South Carolina but the overall record as well as conference record will raise a lot of questions in the committee room. A win on the road at Rupp arena would more than cancel out this terrible loss against Miss St. (Next Up: 2/23 @Kentucky)

65. Temple (RPI 67: 16-9, 10-4) Won 6 of 7 but their SOS (#73) 4 top 50 wins, but they are only 6-7 vs. the top 150 with 2 really bad losses outside of the top 150. They are really hanging their hat on what they have done against the top tier of the conference beating SMU and sweeping both UConn and Cincinnati. Really only 1 more challenging game left on the schedule @Tulsa coming up, after that is 3 straight 150+ teams so there will be no excuses for any losses there. If they can win out and get the #1 seed in the AAC tournament they should feel pretty good about their chances. A 3-1 finish may leave a little bit of work to do. (Next Up: 2/23 @Tulsa)

66. George Washington (RPI 43: 19-7, 8-5) 0-2 last week. Thank goodness they beat Virginia OOC because without that they may not even be in the discussion right now. Only 3 other top 100 wins and 3 sub 100 losses. Really need to dominate the poor competition over the next few games. (Next Up: 2/24 @Richmond)

67. Cincinnati (RPI 56: 20-8, 10-5) Big win this weekend over UConn to complete the season sweep of the Huskies. 6-7 vs. the top 100, just about every metric you look at screams bubble team. Hard to see them NOT being one of the last 4 in or first 4 out. Still no top 30 wins although they do have 3 top 50 wins (Next Up: 2/27 @East Carolina)

68. (MAAC) Monmouth (RPI: 50, 22-6, 14-3) Monmouth took a devastating loss on their home floor vs. Iona this weekend which very likely will cost them a shot at an at large bid. The resume still has a lot going for it Monmouth only played 1 home game before January and went on the road to win some tough games at UCLA and Georgetown as well as on a NC vs. USC and Notre Dame. That kind of scheduling and then getting the result is going to go a long way in that committee room but at the same time several of those wins have lost a lot of luster and Monmouth just hasn't taken care of business in conference. Iona is now their 4th loss to a sub 100 team of the season and their previous 3 are all to RPI 200+ against Army, Canisius and Manhattan. Any loss in the MAAC tournament would be a 5th bad loss and at this point unless the bubble really falters I just don't think they can survive that (even though they would still be IN as of today). (Next Up: 2/26 Rider)

-------The Bubble Bursts Here------------

69. Tulsa (RPI 45: 17-9, 9-5) Huge win @SMU 2 weeks ago to boost them back into the at large conversation. An OOC win over Wichita St. has lost a lot of luster. Getting the season split vs. Cincinnati (as well as UConn). Getting the season split against Temple will be critical for the conference standings as well as at large consideration. After that the last 2 of the season are games they would have no business losing. (Next Up: 2/23 Temple)

70. Butler (RPI 59: 18-9, 7-8) Butler is running out of time to impressive. 2 top 50 wins over Purdue and @Seton Hall. Only 1 sub 100 loss. A very blah resume and the RPI, conference record and lack of signature wins would give the committee every reason to leave them out at this point. Each of their final 3 are winnable and that may be exactly what it takes to get in. (Next Up: 2/27 @Georgetown)

71. Michigan (RPI 55: 18-8, 9-5) Michigan has 3 top 25 wins this season over Purdue, Maryland and against Texas on a NC. The problem is they don't have any other top 100 wins after that. No bad losses but being 4-9 vs. the RPI top 100 is a metric that is a huge red flag and suggests Michigan is not a tournament team as the bubble shrinks in March as it always does. (2/24 Northwestern)

72. (WCC) St. Mary's (RPI 57: 21-4, 13-3) Got the season sweep of Gonzaga to officially make St. Mary's the best at large candidate for the conference heading into March. Still, with zero top 50 wins that is going to be a tough argument to make even if they do have a very good record. St. Mary's losing not once, but twice to Pepperdine is a huge blow to their chances. They need to win out and get to the WCC Final and then get some help to get an at large. (Next Up: 2/25 Santa Clara)

73. (Mountain West) San Diego St. (RPI 48: 17-7, 12-1) Won 13 of 14. Only 1 win vs a top 90 RPI team (California). Bad losses to San Diego, Grand Canyon and now Fresno St. probably means auto bid or bust. (Next Up: 2/24 @Wyoming)

74. (Sun Belt) Arkansas Little Rock (RPI 47: 22-3, 14-2) Another low major with a gaudy record but no meat behind it. Won @SDSU and @Tulsa but the 3rd best win is @UTA. So in other wordsthey may not have beaten any tournament teams when it is all said and done. 2 really bad sub 150 losses. Win out until the final and if everyone else losesthen they probably still wouldn't make it. Still, with the record and RPI where it is they are worth keeping an eye on and hopefully for bubble teams they take care of business in their tournament. (Next Up: 2/25 UTA)

75. Vanderbilt (RPI 62: 16-11, 8-7) Nice bounce back for Vandy by easily handling Georgia after taking a damaging mid-week loss to Mississippi St. Beating Georgia was especially nice since it effectively ends the Bulldogs chances at an at large bid. Vandy is still just 5-9 vs the top 100 which is always a key metric which you would like to see at least near .500 in order to get in. They do have 3 top 50 wins over A&M, Florida and Alabama. Vandy did nothing OOC which is troubling with a best win vs. Wake Forest on a NC and after that perhaps the Stony Brook win. They could really muddle the SEC bubble picture by beating Florida again this weekend for the season sweep of the Gators to potentially make the case they deserve inclusion over Florida. (Next Up: 2/23 @Florida)

76. Florida St. (RPI 72: 16-11, 6-9) The Seminoles look lost. They have lost 4 in a row including their latest one to Virginia Tech which is by far their worst loss of the season. Also still only 2 top 50 wins (Virginia &@Florida) and then 3 additional so-so top 100 wins. That's not nearly enough to make up for 11 losses. Really feels like 3-0 down the stretch to get back to .500 in conference may be absolutely necessary. That would be 3 more top 100 wins (2 more top 50). (Next Up: 2/25 @Duke)

77. (Horizon) Valparaiso (RPI: 60: 21-5, 13-2) Won 13 out of 15 but it is probably too little, too late with both of their losses during that streak to Wright State who isn't terrible but at an RPI of 150+ still qualifies as 2 bad losses. They also have a horrible OOC loss to Ball St. and other than beating Oregon St. in OOC there probably is not enough meat to justify the bad losses and poor RPI. (Next Up: 2/26 @Milwaukee)

78. Ohio St. (RPI 75: 18-10, 10-5) OSU has been in must win mode the last 4 games and have gone 4-0. Now they get themselves to one of the toughest stretch run in the country with 2 games against Michigan State and one against Iowa. If they can get 2 of them it will get them to 20 wins and significantly boost their RPI. A neutral court win over Kentucky is carrying them right now but still doesn't make up for back to back losses to La Tech and Memphis and 10 losses already. (Next Up: 2/23 Michigan St.)

79. Kansas St. (RPI 64: 15-12, 4-10) They do have the big win over Oklahoma to at least have them on this page still. However at 4-10 in conference they probably need to win out to get it to 8-10 in conference to have a legitimate claim at an at large. They have only 1 loss outside of the top 50 (Oklahoma St.) and if they were able to win out then it would add several key top 50 wins to the resume. (Next Up: 2/22 Texas)

80. (West Coast) Gonzaga (RPI 68: 20-7, 13-3) Gonzaga almost had to beat St. Mary's to have any claim at an at large and they couldn't get it done getting swept on the season series and also failing to beat BYU (and failing to beat SMU) earlier this year. This hasn't been much of an interesting resume outside of the Battle4Atlantis where they lost to Texas A&M and won vs. Washington and UConn. If they win out and get to the WCC final it probably still is not enough but they would at least get into the discussion as one of the teams barely left out. Almost certainly needs the auto bid at this point. (Next Up: 2/25 @San Diego)

81. UCLA (RPI 66: 15-12, 6-8) UCLA got their first big win in a month by beating Colorado for their 4th top 50 win of the year. The win over Kentucky and Arizona is looking better and better. The 2 losses vs. Wake Forest and Washington St. are still terrible. Big road trip to northern California up next. (2/25 @Cal)

82. Washington (RPI 69: 15-12, 7-8) Beat Stanford this weekend to stay on life support for an at large. NC split vs. Texas in OOC and 2 good wins so far in the Pac 12 vs, Colorado and USC but they still need to counteract 2 potentially devastating losses to Oakland and to UC Santa Barbara. They need to at a minimum win 2 of their remaining 3 regular season games if not outright win out. (Next Up: 2/24 @Oregon St.)

83. LSU (RPI 87: 16-11, 9-5) LSU has now lost 3 of 4 and are just 9-11 vs. the RPI top 150. After losing to Tennessee that is their 4th loss outside of the top 100 and only 3 top 50 wins on the other side of the ledger. Bad OOC losses to Marquette, Charleston & Wake Forest and beat only Oral Roberts as their best OOC win. They very well may need to win out at this point including winning at Rupp to end the year. If they can finish in the top 4 in the SEC standings it at least is one feather in the cap but they need some big wins in a hurry. (Next Up: 2/23 @Arkansas)

84. Georgia Tech (RPI 70: 15-12, 5-9) Won 2 in a row including @Florida State and over Notre Dame. Still need to win out in order to have any chance at all. Beat VCU and Virginia. (Next Up: 2/23 Clemson)

85. (MAC)Akron (RPI 39: 20-6, 10-4) A loss to Kent State (their 2nd in 3 games) is almost certainly the last nail in the coffin for Akron's at large bid. The RPI is nice but the lack of quality wins (best wins to UCSB and Ohio) with 4 sub 100 losses just isn't going to get it done. I'll keep them on the list for another week or so but not only would they need to win out, they would need the teams all around the bubble in the power conferences to all completely fall off the map. (Next Up: 2/23 @ Miami of Ohio)

86. Creighton (RPI 83: 17-10, 8-6) After losing at Butler the Blue Jays are in must win mode going into the home stretch. The win over Xavier is huge and they also won in conference against Georgetown, Butler and Seton Hall but they did not do themselves any favors OOC with a best win over Nebraska and a devastating loss at Loyola Chicago. (Next Up: 2/24 Marquette)

87. BYU (RPI 73: 20-8, 12-4) Won 4 in a row to be at least hanging around as a fringe candidate. They do have 4 losses outside of the top 100 however and zero top 50 wins (although they did beat Gonzaga and St. Mary's). They need to win out including winning against Gonzaga to complete the season sweep. After that they need to beat Gonzaga again in the WCC tournament and then hope for a lot of help if they are unable to get the automatic bid. (Next Up: 2/25 Portland)

88. Davidson (58: 15-9, 8-6) Beat St. Joseph's to stay on the at large radar but they are still a pretty fringe bubble candidate. That win is their only win in the top 100 and in fact they are 1-7 vs. the top 100 with 2 losses outside the RPI top 150. If they can win out down the stretch including over VCU they will wedge their way into the RPI top 50 and into the mainstream at large discussion. (Next Up: 2/23 Rhode Island)

89. Clemson (RPI 99: 16-11, 9-6) Very Schizo profile here with OOC losses to UMass and Minnesota, then a 5 game win streak vs. Florida St, Syracuse, Louisville, Duke & Miami. Won an elimination game last week vs. Georgia Tech but then dropped a game to NC State which is probably the last nail in the at large coffin No doubt about it now they need to win out, including beating Virginia and then also make some noise in the ACC tournament. 6 wins vs. the RPI top 50 is a nice bonus. (Next Up: 2/23 @Georgia Tech)

90. Stanford (RPI 79: 12-12, 6-8) After losing to Washington they must now win out plus do damage in the tournament to get at large consideration. The win over Oregon is carrying their profile at the moment but at just 12-12 any at large inclusion would be nearly precedent setting without a big run. Best OOC win was on a NC vs. Arkansas. (Next Up: 2/25 USC)

91. Arizona St. (RPI 78: 14-13, 4-10) The record has gotten to a point where now they are required to win out in order to get back into the conversation. They do have 3 quality wins over USC, Texas A&M and Oregon St. (Next Up: 2/25 @Utah)

92. Georgia (RPI 82: 14-11, 7-7) After an 0-2 last week they are almost certainly done. If they can win out AND make noise in the SEC Tournament I may re-evaluate but it looks very bleak for Georgia. Good wins over the ACC in Georgia Tech and Clemson. No real terrible losses outside of maybe a loss to Ole Miss. (Next Up: 2/24 @Auburn)